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Tickerguy
Posts: 155623
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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It is NOT far-fetched.

You simply must back up any intermittent supply with one that isn't AND YOU MUST PAY FOR THE UNUSED SUPPLY when it's not needed.

This means you always pay DOUBLE the capital and staffing cost in order to have the intermittent supply. It thus rarely if ever makes sense to use it on a purely economic basis. Ever. Period.

Note that most non-intermittent supply sources (nat gas fired turbines -- OCGTs -- are a notable exception, as is hydro) have fairly long spin-up times as well, especially from a cold start. This means you must keep them online, fired and operating when not needed as well -- not just manned and maintained. A typical coal-fired plant takes half a day or more to reach 70% of nameplate from a cold start, and even if held in a "warm start" condition it STILL takes several hours for them to come online with meaningful output. Further, essentially ALL of the fuel consumed in coming up to operational temperature is wasted along with any used to hold the plant in a "warm start" condition; it produces ZERO revenue. In addition every cycle up and down produces stress on the components (pressure and temperature) and shortens service life.

OCGTs can come online FAST but they're quite inefficient and thus expensive to run. Combined-cycle plants are much more efficient but ALSO take time to bring online and to nameplate rating so they don't solve the problem either.

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Winding it down.

Aveteam
Posts: 135
Incept: 2010-06-26

Peoples Republic of Colorado
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My employer manufactures energy controls for gas & steam turbines as well as aircraft. I work in the aero-derivative unit (20 to 60 MW capacity gas turbines) and it's not unusual at all to get controls back for rebuild that have been in service for ten years or more. Of course it doesn't mean they've been installed on the same turbine that whole time, but as you said they do have very long spin times.

A few years back they took us on a visit to the St. Vrain Generating Station. Pretty interesting tour. https://www.xcelenergy.com/energy_portfo....

GE has done some work to shorten the 0 to full-power time for some of their midsize turbines. I'm not sure if they've improved the service life due to cycling though.

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"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie"

- Justice Antonin Scalia

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Analog
Posts: 1586
Incept: 2010-12-29

arkansas ozarks
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Quote:
A typical coal-fired plant takes half a day or more to reach 70% of nameplate from a cold start, and even if held in a "warm start" condition it STILL takes several hours for them to come online with meaningful output.


Having spent a lifetime in steam plants i appreciate what you say.
These are huge, less-than-nimble machines
and 99% of the populace never sees one.

I regard 'renewables' as Tinkertoys.
They are just not a suitable basis for a power grid.

If TPTB insist on retiring fossil fired steam power
which is right now almost 2/3 of what we generate
we'll see rationing where "the chosen few" have uninterrupted power
probably from nukes
and we peons get the scraps whenever they're available .

"Smart Meters" and IOT make it child's play to implement.

a.

Inline

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Never trust a computer with anything important.
Tickerguy
Posts: 155623
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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Yep.

Hydro can be ramped very quickly since it's just a MV^2 thing. But the others can't be, including conventional nuclear. Never mind the cycle stress; I don't know if the work has been done on that in terms of what it does to expected service life of things like steam generators and similar but I bet it has a material negative impact -- and that means even more money in the sinking fund for repair/replacement of those components.

People start with this **** and my first question is whether they know how a combined-cycle fuel-fed plant works. I usually get a "well they burn X and make power" at which point my eyes roll......

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Winding it down.

Analog
Posts: 1586
Incept: 2010-12-29

arkansas ozarks
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Quote:
Hydro can be ramped very quickly since it's just a MV^2 thing. But...


Not to mention it amounts to a whopping 7% of our generation.


Kill fossil and say 'good bye' to
air conditioning,
electric water heaters,
heat pumps,
and pipe dreams of electric cars.

a.

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Never trust a computer with anything important.
Imustbenutz
Posts: 332
Incept: 2010-11-04

Absurdistan, USSA
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Here is a great article explaining the problem with the left - https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/arti....
Krzelune
Posts: 6323
Incept: 2007-10-08

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Quote:
Invincible Ignorance


That is great. I like "Blissfully spared from the ravages of intelligence."

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France is my second favorite Muslim country, just behind Sweden.
Captainkidd
Posts: 1221
Incept: 2010-05-25

Houston, Texas
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I spent my time in the Navy in Engine Rooms, tending and repairing Steam Turbine driven engines, (which are basically power plants turning a screw instead of a generator) as well as turbine driven generators (we had 8 1.25MW generators on board) all driven by 600psi, 850 degree Super Heated Steam.
Pre-Light Off procedures to online was (minimum) 6 hours, with 8 hours the norm.

Could have been rushed in an emergency to perhaps 4 or 5, but that would have been really pushing.....

Anyway you cut it, Cold Iron to underway was a lengthy evolution.

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A lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a thousand men with guns. --Mario Puzo

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning. -- Henry Ford
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